Cape Verde national football team

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Cape Verde
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Tubarões Azuis
(Blue Sharks)[1]
Crioulos (Creoles)
Association Federação Caboverdiana de Futebol
Sub-confederation WAFU (West Africa)
Confederation CAF (Africa)
Head coach Beto
Bera (interim duo)[2]
Captain Marco Soares
Top scorer Carlos Morais (10)[3]
Home stadium Estádio da Várzea
FIFA ranking 39 Increase 3
Highest FIFA ranking 27 (February 2014)
Lowest FIFA ranking 182 (April 2000)
Elo ranking 79
Highest Elo ranking 79 (17 November 2013)
Lowest Elo ranking 146 (August 1998)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Cape Verde 0–1 Angola 
(Cape Verde; unknown date 1978)
Biggest win
 Cape Verde 5–0 Equatorial Guinea 
(Sal, Cape Verde; 28 March 2009)
Biggest defeat
 Senegal 5–1 Cape Verde Cape Verde
(12 February 1981)
 Cape Verde 0–4 Ghana 
(Praia, Cape Verde; 8 October 2005)
 Guinea 4–0 Cape Verde Cape Verde
(Conakry, Guinea; 9 September 2007)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances 1 (First in 2013)
Best result Quarter-finals; 2013

The Cape Verde national football team, nicknamed either the Tubarões Azuis (Blue Sharks) or Crioulos (Creoles), is the national team of Cape Verde and is controlled by the Federação Caboverdiana de Futebol.



The Cape Verde Islands became independent from Portugal in 1975. The national team's first international was a 0–3 defeat to Guinea-Bissau in the 1979 Amilcar Cabral Cup.[4] Cape Verde's football association was formed in 1982, and joined FIFA in 1986.[5]

Cape Verdeans abroad, who are more numerous than the population of the islands themselves, are a major source of players for the national team. Most of Cape Verde's current international footballers play outside of Cape Verde (mainly in Europe, but also in Asia), and some were born outside of the islands.[6]

Several players of Cape Verdean origin have chosen to play for other national teams. These include Eliseu, Nani, Oceano, Manuel Fernandes, Rolando, Nélson Marcos, Jorge Andrade, Miguel and Silvestre Varela, who all represent Portugal, as well as Mickaël Tavares, Jacques and Ricardo Faty (Senegal), Patrick Vieira (France), Gelson Fernandes (Switzerland), Henrik Larsson (Sweden), David Mendes da Silva, Lerin Duarte, Jerson Cabral (Netherlands) and Rui (Equatorial Guinea), among other examples.

World Cup and African Nations Cup qualifiers[edit]

Cape Verde has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup but have qualified for the 2013 African Cup of Nations. Its first World Cup qualifying campaign was the 2002 World Cup qualifiers, in which Cape Verde was eliminated in the first round after one draw and one defeat against Algeria.[7]

In the qualification campaign for the 2006 World Cup and the 2006 African Nations Cup, Cape Verde advanced to the Final Round after its first victory in a World Cup qualifier, beating Swaziland. In the Final Round, the team made an impression with its first ever away victory against Burkina Faso, but finished fifth in its group and failed to qualify for either finals.[7]

New coach João de Deus from Portugal brought in several new players from European leagues for the 2010 World Cup/2010 African Nations Cup qualifiers.[6] Cape Verde finished second in its group in the Second round, ahead of Tanzania and Mauritius, but behind Cameroon, and did not advance to the Third round. Cape Verde's top goalscorer of the qualifying campaign was Julio Tavares.

Then, finally, Cape Verde qualified for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, after stunning Cameroon 3–2 on aggregate.

2013 Africa Cup of Nations[edit]

On 14 October 2012, Cape Verde managed to secure their first ever berth in the Finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, when they defeated Cameroon 3–2 on aggregate score, following a 2–1 defeat to Cameroon at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé, having won the home leg 2–0 in Praia just weeks prior to their qualification.

On 24 October 2012, Cape Verde were drawn into Group A of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, alongside Angola, Morocco and the host nation South Africa. Furthermore, Cape Verde played the opening match of the tournament at Soccer City in Johannesburg, Gauteng, against South Africa on 19 January 2013 – Soccer City being the host venue for the 2010 World Cup Final. Pulled from the fourth pot during the group stage drawing of the tournament, Cape Verde actually had the highest FIFA ranking of any team in their group at the time of the drawing, ranking at 51st overall, followed by Morocco (71st), South Africa (72nd) and Angola (83rd). Cape Verde also had the 10th highest FIFA ranking in the CAF zone at the time of the drawing as well.

Cape Verde drew with South Africa 0–0 in the tournament's first match, before drawing with Morocco 1–1. Platini scored Cape Verde's first ever goal at the AFCON, who were unfortunate to let an early lead slip. They however did win their first ever AFCON match against Angola, which they won 2–1 (despite an early own goal by captain Nando Maria Neves), through the late goals from Fernando Varela and Héldon Ramos, thus qualifying for the quarter-finals, and thus reaching the last eight in their maiden appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations.

On 2 February 2013, Cape Verde faced Ghana in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, in the quarter-finals of the tournament. Cape Verde played a good match, with 16 shots on Ghana's goal to their 8, with 7 shots on target to their 2, Cape Verde proved to be especially dangerous from set-pieces, however Ghana's keeper Abdul Dauda managed to keep a clean sheet making some spectacular saves, and with Wakaso Mubarak scoring a penalty kick for Ghana in the 54' minute, and then scoring again in the closing minute of the game (90+5') on an open goal, Ghana would win the match 2–0, to move on to the semi-finals, and ending Cape Verde's exceptional 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign.[8]

Other tournaments and notable matches[edit]

Cape Verde has two titles: It hosted and won the Amilcar Cabral Cup in 2000, and won the gold medal in the football tournament at the 2009 Lusophony Games. The team also won a bronze medal at the 2006 Lusophony Games.

For the first time in its history, on 2 November 2002, it faced a non-African team, Luxembourg, in a friendly, resulting in a scoreless draw. On 4 September 2009, it faced Malta in a friendly, resulting in an 2–0 victory. On 24 May 2010, Cape Verde played out a 0–0 draw in a friendly match against a full-strength Portugal.[9] At the time, Portugal was third in the FIFA rankings and Cape Verde were 117th.[10]


Main article: Estádio da Várzea

The team plays their games at Estádio da Várzea. It is located in the capital city, Praia, on the Santiago Island. The stadium opened in 2006 and holds 10,000 people.

World Cup record[edit]

FIFA World Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 to
Germany 1974
Before independence in 1975
Argentina 1978 to
Spain 1982
Not a member of FIFA
Mexico 1986 to
France 1998
Did not enter
South Korea Japan2002 to
South Africa 2010
Did not qualify
Brazil 2014 Disqualified
Russia 2018 To be determined
Qatar 2022 To be determined
Total 0/20 0 0 0 0 0 0

Africa Cup of Nations record[edit]

Titles: 0
Appearances: 1
Year Position Year Position Year Position Year Position
Sudan 1957 Did not enter Ethiopia 1976 Did not enter Tunisia 1994 Did not qualify Equatorial GuineaGabon 2012 Did not qualify
Egypt 1959 Did not enter Ghana 1978 Did not enter South Africa 1996 Withdrew South Africa 2013 Quarter-finals
Ethiopia 1962 Did not enter Nigeria 1980 Did not enter Burkina Faso 1998 Did not enter
Ghana 1963 Did not enter Libya 1982 Did not enter GhanaNigeria 2000 Did not qualify
Tunisia 1965 Did not enter Ivory Coast 1984 Did not enter Mali 2002 Did not qualify
Ethiopia 1968 Did not enter Egypt 1986 Did not enter Tunisia 2004 Did not qualify
Sudan 1970 Did not enter Morocco 1988 Did not enter Egypt 2006 Did not qualify
Cameroon 1972 Did not enter Algeria 1990 Did not enter Ghana 2008 Did not qualify
Egypt 1974 Did not enter Senegal 1992 Did not enter Angola 2010 Did not qualify

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures (2012–Present)[edit]





Current squad[edit]

The following players were called for an international friendly match against Luxembourg on 5 March 2014.[12]
Caps and goals updated as 5 March 2014 after the match against Luxembourg.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Vozinha (1986-06-03) 3 June 1986 (age 28) 13 0 Angola Progresso
1GK Somada (1996-05-03) 3 May 1996 (age 18) 0 0 Portugal Gil Vicente
2DF Fernando Varela (1987-11-26) 26 November 1987 (age 26) 28 3 Romania Steaua București
2DF Gegé (1988-02-24) 24 February 1988 (age 26) 16 0 Portugal Marítimo
2DF Nivaldo (1988-07-10) 10 July 1988 (age 26) 15 0 Czech Republic Teplice
2DF Carlitos (1985-04-23) 23 April 1985 (age 29) 14 0 Cyprus AEL Limassol
2DF Stopira (1988-05-20) 20 May 1988 (age 26) 11 0 Hungary Videoton
2DF Kay (1988-01-05) 5 January 1988 (age 26) 4 0 Romania Universitatea Craiova
3MF Babanco (1985-07-27) 27 July 1985 (age 28) 34 3 Portugal Estoril Praia
3MF Marco Soares (1984-06-06) 6 June 1984 (age 30) 31 3 Angola Progresso
3MF Héldon (1988-11-14) 14 November 1988 (age 25) 25 8 Portugal Sporting Lisbon
3MF Toni Varela (1986-06-13) 13 June 1986 (age 28) 21 1 Greece Levadiakos
3MF Odaïr Fortes (1987-03-31) 31 March 1987 (age 27) 11 2 France Reims
3MF Platini (1986-04-16) 16 April 1986 (age 28) 10 2 Bulgaria CSKA Sofia
3MF Sidnei (1986-04-21) 21 April 1986 (age 28) 7 0 Angola Libolo
3MF Calú (1983-09-20) 20 September 1983 (age 30) 5 0 Angola Progresso
3MF Garry Rodrigues (1990-11-27) 27 November 1990 (age 23) 2 0 Spain Elche
4FW Ryan Mendes (1990-01-08) 8 January 1990 (age 24) 17 4 France Lille
4FW Djaniny (1991-03-21) 21 March 1991 (age 23) 14 5 Mexico Santos Laguna
4FW Júlio Tavares (1988-11-19) 19 November 1988 (age 25) 9 0 France Dijon

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the Cape Verde squad for the last twelve months.[13]

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Fock (1982-07-25) 25 July 1982 (age 31) 11 0 Cape Verde Batuque v.  Catalonia, 30 December 2013
DF Josimar Lima (1989-08-02) 2 August 1989 (age 24) 3 0 United Arab Emirates Al-Shaab v.  Catalonia, 30 December 2013
DF Pecks (1993-04-10) 10 April 1993 (age 21) 2 0 Portugal Gil Vicente v.  Catalonia, 30 December 2013
FW Rambé (1989-10-04) 4 October 1989 (age 24) 6 0 Portugal Braga v.  Catalonia, 30 December 2013
FW Brito (1987-11-16) 16 November 1987 (age 26) 2 0 Portugal Boavista v.  Catalonia, 30 December 2013
FW Duba (1989-09-17) 17 September 1989 (age 24) 0 0 Angola Progresso v.  Catalonia, 30 December 2013
FW Mailó (1992-01-10) 10 January 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Portugal Belenenses v.  Catalonia, 30 December 2013

Previous squads[edit]

Managers since 2003[edit]



  1. ^ FIFA awarded Cape Verde a 3–0 win as a result of Equatorial Guinea fielding the ineligible player Emilio Nsue. The match originally ended 4–3 to Equatorial Guinea.[11]
  2. ^ FIFA awarded Tunisia a 3–0 win as a result of Cape Verde fielding the player Fernando Varela, who had been suspended in the invalidated match against Equatorial Guinea. The match originally ended 0–2 to Cape Verde.


  1. ^ "Conheça as alcunhas das 16 seleções finalistas" [Meet the nicknames of the 16 finalists]. A Bola (in Portuguese). 2 February 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Cape Verde replace Lucio Antunes with interim duo". BBC. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Mamrud, Roberto; Stokkermans, Karel. "Players with 100+ Caps and 30+ International Goals". RSSSF. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Courtney, Barry (5 June 2006). "Cape Verde Islands – List of International matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Cape Verde Islands". Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Foreign contingent boost Cape Verde". FIFA. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Cape Verde Islands: Profile". FIFA. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Ghana vs. Cape Verde Islands 2–0". Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Report: Portugal v Cape Verde Islands – International Friendly – ESPN Soccernet". 24 May 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Equatorial Guinea sanctioned for fielding ineligible player". 19 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Jogo Luxemburgo x Cabo Verde: Beto convoca 20 jogadores" [Cape Verdean national coach announces squad for match against Catalonia] (in Portuguese). A Nação. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "Selecionar cabo-verdiano divulga lista de convocados para jogo contra Catalunha" [Cape Verdean national coach announces squad for match against Catalonia] (in Portuguese). Panapress. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Cape Verde island coach Alhinho resigns". ESPN Soccernet. Reuters. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  15. ^ "Ze Rui appointed Cape Verde coach". BBC. 3 May 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "Cape Verde confirm identity of new coach". BBC. 22 November 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "De Deus New Cape Verde Coach". MTN Football. 22 November 2006. Retrieved 22 March 2008. 
  18. ^ "Soccer federation unaware of national selection coach's alleged exit". Asemana. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  19. ^ "Lúcio Antunes tapped as new national soccer team coach". Asemana. 25 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 

External links[edit]